“Aren’t we all pawns in the hands of time, the greatest player of them all?”
Indian Mythology is full of fantasy and suspense that has left us intrigued right from Amar Chitra Katha to our recent favorite The Shiva Trilogy. Though reading is what I do to break free, Mythology is my best escape. Getting lost in the stories of the characters that once lived, fought, and died, leaving us with numerous lessons to lead our lives. This is why I read The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
The Palace of Illusions is basically a rendition of the Hindu Epic ‘Mahabharata’. Though we all know what the story is, who fights whom, who wins and reigns, we don’t know what the real Hero – Draupadi’s journey has been like. Now you must wonder why I called her the Hero when we already have the Pandavas and Kauravas. That’s what the story is about. A journey of a dark-skinned princess who goes through everything that we face in normal life. A neglected childhood from an indifferent father, an unconditional love from her brother, Drupad, and a constant feeling of inferiority due to her physical appearance. It is from situations like these that Draupadi takes control of her life, accepts herself, and becomes one of the most desirable women of all times, being crowned as the Queen of Hastinapur and wrecking havoc to cause the most gruesome battle the world has ever seen.
How she redeems herself and make her husbands avenge for her humiliation is a story worth knowing. All her life she’s only looked for one perfect love, one that couldn’t be shared, one that wouldn’t fade away and one that would fight the world for her and yet when she found him, she watched him go. No, it wasn’t any of her husbands. This discovery, is another exciting part of the story. Chitra Banerjee has kept the writing candid such that it touches each one of us likes it’s a story of our own.
In the end, the husbands avenge her, bringing back all her glory yet what we are left with is an insufferable empathy for Draupadi. Why is that? You will only find out once you witness her journey to the end. I assure you it will be an engaging and heartbreaking experience.
I rate, Pallace of Illusions: ⭐⭐⭐
Buy your copy of it at Amazon, here.
Featured image source: Tanvii.com
If you loved this review, then you’ll surely love 5 must-read Indian Historical Fiction books by Indian Authors.
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